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Old Jul 6, 2011, 8:51 PM   #1
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Default Mostly Buffalo Mountain

Took a quick hike up Buffalo Mt., searching for some rare orchids. Unfortunately, it appears that the big fire at Buffalo several years ago has destroyed this orchid population. But we still had a great hike, full of summer discoveries.
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Old Jul 6, 2011, 8:55 PM   #2
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Pockets of old-growth forest remain in some of the sheltered damp hollows, but most of Buffalo is now young forest, gradually recovering from the fire. Sourwood Trees and Black Cohosh plants both seem to thrive in the burned-over places, as does Pipsissewa.
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Old Jul 6, 2011, 8:57 PM   #3
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We were delighted to see a number of Michaux's Lilies (also called Carolina Lily) thriving - with healthy flower buds soon to bloom.

(ps - which view do you prefer?)
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Old Jul 6, 2011, 9:01 PM   #4
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And plenty of non-flowering plants too - like Bracken Fern and a variety of fungi (Coral Fungus, some sort of yellow Bolete, and a gilled mushroom of some kind...)
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Old Jul 6, 2011, 9:03 PM   #5
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The dogs were happiest with the blueberries. This will be a great year for all the wild berry crops, and our puppies probably each picked (with their teeth) and ate several quarts of blueberries while we hiked! (we ate some too, but the dogs ate more...)
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Old Jul 6, 2011, 9:05 PM   #6
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Sunny meadows here are alive with butterflies! Here are several views of a (tiny) Eastern Tailed Blue. When perched, they keep moving their hindwings so that those little "tails" look more like antennae. Probably so that predators will aim for the wrong end of the butterfly.
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Old Jul 6, 2011, 9:07 PM   #7
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And there's been a recent hatching of more Pearl Crescents, another tiny butterfly of the sunny meadows...
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Old Jul 6, 2011, 9:09 PM   #8
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The recently-emerged butterflies are probably glad that Buttonbush and Common Mullein are blooming, and that Swamp Milkweed is about to bloom...
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Old Jul 6, 2011, 9:13 PM   #9
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And the Dragonflies are glad that more butterflies are emerging! (what a tasty food chain...)

Here are a few views of a Black Shouldered Spinyleg, and some very close views of a Fawn Darner. (Do you prefer the face shot with or without flash?)
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Old Jul 6, 2011, 9:17 PM   #10
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Took LOTS more photos on this little hike, but won't bore you with too many more. Just a quick glimpse of a milkweed beetle, and a Great Spangled Fritillary enjoying Wild Bergamot nectar.

Hope you enjoyed the walk up on Buffalo, and that you will share your comments and critique!
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